May 24, 2013

Shanghai (The New York of Asia) - China Trip Part 1

Wow! I can’t believe that my trip has been going by so fast. I’ve already done so much and am excited for everything else to come before I fly back on Tuesday.

This will end up being a rather long blog post about the first part of time in Shanghai. I’ll break it up by day and then put some general stuff at the bottom help move things along.  Also, ignore typos.


My flight from Chicago to Shanghai took FOURTEEN HOURS! It was really cramped, but thank to sleeping pills and OZ: The Great and Powerful, it wasn’t too bad. When I arrived, I met Dori and we went back to her apartment. It’s super nice, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve had my own bathroom WITH A TUB!

After a bath, we left to meet up with some of her friends here in Shanghai. Most work in with the State Department, and all were really cool. Our first stop was at a bar they frequent, which had this lovely Texas flag, and then we had dinner at Hunan, a Chinese restaurant. We stayed up super late, which helped me sleep through the night.


Unfortunately, the weather really sucked on Saturday. But after lunch, we went to see the TV Tower on the Pudong side of SH. The first floor had a museum depicting the history of Shanghai through wax figures. The bad Chinglish and noticeable dislike of Westerners was a hilarious bonus to the museum.

Outside the tower, I had my first interesting experience with being a white person in China. A Chinese tourist (from the country I’d guess) came over with his iPhone, obviously wanting a picture. I thought he wanted me to take a picture of him and his friend so I agreed. All of a sudden it turned into a selfie of the two of us. This was not the last time that tourists asked to take pictures with Dori and I. We only agreed to one girl who was nice enough to take a picture for us. There were other times when people were blatantly taking pictures of us. Awkward.

In case you didn’t know, pollution here sucks majorly. I was having difficulty breathing so we had to head to a pharmacy to buy me some gas masks. Let me tell you, they are the height of fashion </sarcasm>.

Dinner followed  (pizza) with some more of Dori’s friends before we went back and all played an awesome game called CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY. It’s basically a version of Apples to Apples, but for horrible people. It’s extremely offensive and dirty, but the fun doesn’t stop. No judging allowed.


It was actually a nice day out! For lunch we went to this AMAZINGLY themed restaurant called Abbey Road. C’mon, of course Dori would take me there. My sister knows me so well.

There’s this really great market called Tian ZiFang that we went to that sells a lot of different things. Think of New York’s Chinatown only cheaper. I bought a fake Longchamp bag that roughly came to $7. Of course different stalls tried to cheat us since we were tourists, but thankfully I had my sister with me.

We got done shopping and headed over to The Bund. It’s this great area on the river that looks over to Pudong’s skyline. The actually Bund is a set of colonial style buildings which are also very beautiful. Again, people tried to take pictures with us. Again, it was awkward.

We checked out the Peace Hotel, which was very fancy, and did some shopping at a 4-story Forever 21 before going to play LASERTAG! One of Dori’s co-workers is moving on to a different post and chose lastertag as her last hurrah! Let me tell you, the Enderle girls are not that great at this game. Although a few times we seemed to have faulty equipment. Blurg.

We had dinner with Dori’s friends Peter and Neil at her favorite Chinese restaurant (delicious!) and then gelato (also delicious!). 


Dori took the day off of work and we started off with a trip to a Buddhist Temple in the middle of the city. It’s known locally as rather touristy, but I didn’t care. It was beautiful and we took A LOT of pictures!  My favorite part was seeing a monk on a cellphone. Classic.

Next on our list was the South Bund Fabric Market where a lot of people go to get clothes custom made. Of course, I took advantage of the prices and got two skirts made for about $80. Not bad, right? I saw one girl getting fitted for an evening gown. I would have gone with a fancy dress, but where would I wear it?

Shanghai has a lot of trade in pearls, so Dori took me to one of the Pearl markets. We took the Metro on the way there and it was SO CLEAN! While we were riding I wasn’t paying attention to the TV screen, but as I was walking out, I glanced up and who should I see but DARREN FREAKIN’ CRISS. I was like “whaa?” but they were showing previews to his new movie with Kristen Wiig. Bit surreal..

The Pearl market was really cool. I got a pair of earrings, a necklace and a ring for really cheap. There was a store in the building called LENNY that leads me to believe that my dad has been holding out on us with this hidden business. 

So we finished up shopping and went to look at Nanjing Road, the Times Square of China. It was all lit up and very commercial, like TS. But get this, they have FANCY Pizza Huts here. It’s a legit restaurant where people go on dates. Weird.

It got dark and we went back to The Bund for night pictures. I got some great ones, if I do say so myself.

So this is where I will leave off for now. But here a few things that I didn’t find a way to include:

1.     Squatties are the bane of my existence. I won’t take Western restrooms for granted again.
2.     The fashion and shoes here are cray-cray. Don’t know how some of these girls are able to walk.
3.     I’ve been using a burner phone and had to relearn how to use T9 texting.

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